Mentoring the Heart

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And we got a little bit of a different special morning for us. We’re taking a break in the middle of our series on Colossians because we have a special speaker here with us today. Fred Jacoby is coming up in just a moment to to share. But he is a director of a Christian counseling organization known as Foundations in Pennsylvania. He’s been here this week encouraging churches and leaders, pastors and church leaders in the area of biblical counseling. And so we have the privilege of hearing from him this morning. We thought if he’s if he’s going to be here on Sunday, too, we we need you as a church. So everyone lounge in your chairs this morning, kick your feet up and prepare to have your life changed forever. Right. As we welcome Fred Jacoby to the stage to share with us from God’s Word this morning. So give him a round of applause, please. Well, don’t lounge too much. Don’t want to fall asleep now. Well, greetings from Pennsylvania. It’s great to be with you here today. A few years ago, we were in Utah, though we were visiting the national parks and we just had a great time doing that. My whole family for generations have been in the Pennsylvania area from great grandparents or great great grandparents, and they were known as being Pennsylvania Dutch because they had come from Germany. And when I think about those generations and I think about my grandfather now, we didn’t have a lot in common, quite frankly.

But we did have one thing in common, which was this our our love for music. And one of the things that I’ve called inherited per se from him is around Christmas time, he would always listen to Pavarotti and his Christmas album. And so every Christmas I like to listen to this Italian opera singer sing Christmas songs. And most of them, I have no idea what he is saying. But there is one other song that he that he really loved that I developed a passion for. And every time I hear this song, I not only think of this, but I think about I think about my relationship with the Lord and this song, which you may know this, it was from the movie or the play movie carousel many years ago. And the song is this You’ll Never Walk Alone. And it goes when I walk through the storm, Hold your head up high and don’t be afraid of the dark. At the end of the storm is a golden sky. And the sweet silver song of a lark. Walk on, walk on through the wind, through the rain. And I don’t remember the rest. But when I hear that there’s something that goes on in my heart and my soul. Especially when those words come in. You’ll never walk alone. And what I want to talk to you today about is this, is that the Christian life is never meant to be walked alone.

And I don’t only mean that in saying that because we always have God with us. Emmanuel Which is extremely true. But we’re never meant to walk alone because we have others beside us who are also involved in the walk. There are some here that are spiritually mature. There are some here that are just learning about the faith. There are probably many here that are struggling with some issue in life, probably many issues in life. But are keeping it to yourselves because we’re afraid. We’re afraid that if other people know what we’re going through, if other people, if other people see the real us that’s going on inside, that maybe we will be made fun of or ridiculed or thought less of. But the one thing that we know is this, is that in Scripture there are so many one anothers that to care for one another, to encourage one another, to lift one another up. And so we as a body of Christ are not meant to live the Christian life walking alone. But instead we’re called to walk alongside and with one another. There is a lot of scripture that talks about this. One Scripture verse I want to look at is This is Titus two. I have to turn this on. Here we go. Titus two verses, 1 to 6. And this is what I’m calling this is the mentoring mandate. All right. It goes like this. You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.

Teach the older men to be tempered, worthy of respect, self-controlled sound in faith, in love and endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not as slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and to be pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, to be subject to husbands so that no one will malign the Word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. Now, as I’m looking at this verse here, I don’t specifically want to look at this verse and saying this is what you need to do and you need to do and you need to do. I’m going to let Pastor Nathaniel deal with that another day. But one thing I find interesting about this verse is this, is that when it says to teach the older men, there are six things listed there. When it says to teach the older women, there are four things. When it says to teach the younger women, there are seven things. And how many things for teach the young men. One. I’ll let you read into that as much as you want. Maybe that’s all we can handle. Well, I shouldn’t say we anymore. I’m a middle aged man now, but. But in this. In this verse we see. That people coming alongside of other people, of teaching, of training, of instructing, of helping out one another in relationships with each other.

The older men teaching, the younger men, the young, the older women, being able to teach the younger women various things about the faith. See, we are a people that need each other. But if we even if we look at at at these verses and what we see in there is we see a lot of things to do. But it’s so easy to just do things without thinking about them. See, think about this for a moment. Now, some of you. I’m not going to point fingers. We’re singing these songs with all your heart today. Some were just singing with words. And without the heart. And I don’t say this to condemn anyone because I’ve been there too. A lot. But when we look at the impact that we can have in others lives, if we look at what’s going on inside our lives, there is one thing that the scriptures teach us. The one thing that the Scriptures tell us is this is that it is out of the heart. That we speak. It is out of the heart that we produce fruit. It is out of the heart. That we do things. And so what I want to do today is to focus specifically on the heart. I understand that in a former series, Pastor Nathaniel was speaking to parents and married couples and such about about the heart.

And so we’re going to I’m going to piggyback a little bit more on that and look at these scripture verses. Matthew 1517 to 20 says, But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart and these defile them for out of the hearts come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person. And so when we talk about the heart, we’re talking about our desires, we’re talking about our motives, the things going on inside, why do we do the things that we do? And so in in this message today, not only want us to look at why we do the things that we do, but in terms of when we come alongside other people with the one another, making sure that we don’t walk alone and that others don’t walk alone, that we can come beside them and we can help them and we don’t help them by looking at what they’re doing and just simply say, stop it. But we come beside them and able to engage their hearts so that we can love them and accept them for who they are, but to bring them and move them closer to their relationship with Christ as well. Second Corinthians two four says, For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears not to grieve you, but to let you know the depth of my love for you.

In the heart is not just the motive and desires, but also the emotion for out of the anguish of heart. Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away. Yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. When we look at the heart, we look at the placement of trust, of hope, of faith. But see our hearts. According to Jeremiah 17 nine, they they can kind of be deceitful, too, sometimes. Have you ever maybe said this out loud or maybe you’ve heard this from somebody you know? I just want to follow my heart on this. I just want to. I just want to do what feels right. Whatever. Whatever my heart is saying. And so our hearts oftentimes can lead us to different places. And they’re not all great places because our hearts are deceptive. And so with our hearts, we can either direct our hearts or we can follow our hearts. Proverbs 2826 says he that trusts in his own heart is a fool. But listen to my son and be wise and direct your heart in the way. And so as we look at the heart and as we look at our own hearts, as we look at the hearts of others and come alongside them, these are the important things. So why do we focus on the heart is because the heart is the core of why we do. What we do. I have a water bottle here, and what I’d like you to do is just pretend with me that this water bottle, the cap is off.

I don’t want to mess up your stage here. And so here’s what I’m going to do. Now let’s pretend there’s water on the stage there. And let me ask you this question. Why? Would there be water on the stage? I’d shout it out. Because the caps off. What else? What do I do? I knocked it over. Right. But let me ask you this question another way. Why is there water on the stage? Because water was in the bottle. See, when we think about the core of why we do what we do. We are going to get knocked around. We are going to get pushed around. We are going to have situations in our lives that completely just bowl us over. And when someone asks us, why did we do that? The first thing that we do is we say, Well, I did this because this happened or I did this because you said this. And so therefore I did this. I did this because God is the woman that you sent me. And the woman said, God, it’s because the serpent and sea, with everything that goes on and a lot of things that goes on in our lives, we blame other people. We blame situations and circumstances. But the only reason that there was water coming out on the floor was because there was water inside the bottle.

The only reason that we do the things that we do is because out of a heart. The mouth speaks out of the heart. We produce fruit. And see. Circumstances are always going to come into our lives. But how we react and respond is not because of other situations. It’s not because of getting instigated. What comes out of a heart? The mouth speaks. And so the bitterness. Rage. Anger. Idolatry. Slander. Various things are in the heart, and this is why we do the things that we do. And so the heart is extremely central because it’s why we do the things that we do. And so when we look to our to our children or and we parent them, we we can’t just focus strictly on behavior, but there’s something going on in the heart when we look at our spouses and wonder why is it that they’re doing what they’re doing. We see it’s because of what’s inside their heart. We’re not causing them. We might influence other people, but we don’t cause their actions. When we look at ourselves, we say what’s coming out of my heart? And so this is one of the reasons, one of the reasons that we need Jesus Christ. Because our hearts are wicked. Our hearts are deceptive. Our hearts are beyond cure. But we do know someone that can cleanse us, that can move in us, that can change us at the heart level. The heart is central to what we feel.

The heart is where all of our longings flow. And God looks at the heart. We look at the Old Testament. I know that’s bothering some of you. When we look at the Old Testament, we see that when choosing the next king and the prophet goes to to David’s family, he sees everybody. And then God tells Samuel, No, I haven’t chosen this one. God looks man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. We also see in Isaiah where God says that these people talking about the the Pharisees, the Israelites, they honor me with their lips. But their hearts are far from me and isn’t that easy to do? I mean, to to just be nice to someone. And then inside we’re like, you know, or maybe even just again singing in church and we’re just we’re honoring with lips, but our hearts are are somewhere completely different. It is so easy to do when when we parent and we’re talking to our kids and we’re saying, you hit your brothers, go say you’re sorry. And they’re like, sorry, but they don’t really mean it from the heart, Right? And so it is so easy to just focus on the behavior and doing the right thing when in fact our hearts are far from him. And so we see that God looks specifically on the heart and. So what to do? What do we do with this? And this screen here shows you a biblical model of change.

How do we change? How is it that our hearts can change? How can we help other people? How can we come along beside them to help them change their hearts and such? And so we see this this diagram. Okay? And on the one side over here, we see a heart producing with a tree, and that tree looks fairly dead. And but that tree there is producing some actually, it doesn’t show any fruit there. But let’s look at that as saying it’s not producing hardly any fruit or bad fruit. And so when we look at ourselves, when we look at other people, we might look there and say, okay, what is the fruit? And let me write that down. What is it that they’re doing? Or let me come beside you, Let’s help. What is it that you are doing and writing a list down. Okay, here’s the fruit. The fruit is is because I was angry at my husband. Now, not me. I’m just giving a I’ll just say it at my wife. All right, We’ll just go that I’m angry with my wife. All right, So what is the fruit look like? Okay, well, I yelled at her. I also ignored her. I. I was purposely late for dinner. I didn’t do any of the things that she wanted me to do. And so we look at those fruit. And the way to change me is, first of all, have to desire to change.

But then what was going on at the heart of the root? Well, what was the reason I was doing these things was because I wanted something and she didn’t give it to me. It’s because I. I desired something and she got in my way. It’s because I wanted to go watch Star Wars and she wanted to go watch some other chick flick, you know, whatever that might be. But what’s going on at the heart level? How am I going to change? From. I want what I want when I want it. How is it that we can change personally? How is it that we can help other people change? And we have to do that through the Cross of Christ? We have to do that through the Word of God. So we cannot change on our own. This is what happens when we start changing on our own. What we do is we take the bad fruit and we try to replace it with good fruit. It’s called behavior modification. You’ve probably heard of that before. And we just say, Well, okay, I’ll just stop doing this and I’ll just start doing this. But what happens oftentimes is that’s a very short lived thing. It’s as if we had a tree and we we saw that it wasn’t producing good apples and apple tree. And so what we did is we went to the store, we bought some fruit, and we started tying the fruit on there and say, look at this tree.

Isn’t it beautiful for the next two days? And then not so much anymore. So when we come beside people, when we’re either mentoring them or we’re loving them, we want to be able to bring them to that place of focusing specifically on the heart and not focusing only on the behavior and going to God’s Word. And then only then will there be real change, genuine change in our hearts and our lives because it’s through the Holy Spirit. So when we look to to helping other people, when we look to to to bless them, when we look to come beside them. We want to help reveal what’s going on inside the heart and we want to help then to appeal to them of what’s going on inside the heart. And so what does that mean? What’s going on inside the heart? So let me go to. All right. I took it out. Oh, here it is. When we think about the heart, it’s what I want. And so these are the buzzwords. If you’re talking with someone or you’re thinking out loud, why did I do the things that I that I do? You’re looking at these certain buzzwords. What is it that I want? I want. Fill in the blank or I need something. I feel something I am afraid of something. I deserve something. See, why is it that I do the things that I do? Generally, it’s because of something going on inside of here.

I know you guys. Do you guys have a readers around here? Rita’s Italian ice. That must be a Pennsylvania thing. It’s got frozen custard. It’s got wonderful, wonderful, sinful delights. And I tend to go there maybe once a week, perhaps you can tell. And the reason that I go there is simply because that’s what I want. I want a treat. I want to reward myself. And so therefore, I go there. I want my children to behave and to just get along. I’ve got twin boys. They’re 15, and they don’t always get along. They’re competitive. And I can’t I keep thinking, why can’t we all just get along? And I want them to behave and they’re not doing it. And so what’s the first thing? What’s the first reaction that comes out of my out of my out of my mouth is just like, well, you kids just behave. And so I start to to get upset and I start to raise my voice just a little bit more. Well, why is that? Is it because of their actions or behaviors? Actually, no. It’s because what’s inside my heart and I just want peace. And so how do you get peace? You raise your voice and then that causes fear. And fear causes silence. You see, it works. But then they’re mad at you and it doesn’t help the relationship at all. And so that’s all it’s all about what’s going on inside the heart.

So what is it that you want? What is it that you think that you need? Maybe it’s in a relationship. You know, I just. I just need my husband to love me. I just. I just need my wife to. To respect me. I just need. I just need a Pepsi. I don’t. Coming alongside other people. It’s it’s almost like holy ground. See, other people are like, you are created in the image of God. And if we see ourselves and we focus on the heart and not just the behavior, because so many times we just focus on the behaviors and we’re like, I want nothing to do with this person. But instead we focus on the heart. Because at the heart level, all of us are the same. All of us are sinners in need of a savior. But sometimes we’re just so turned off with behavior that we don’t even try to look at the heart. Or we’re so turned off with our own behaviors that we isolate ourselves from other people when in fact, we need other people. We need them for help. We need them for guidance. We need them for wisdom. But they need us. And when we look at the scriptures, it says, Love the Lord, your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. It’s not that we simply need people, but we need to love people. To come beside them to help them, and we help them, especially going through emotional things or spiritual struggles by focusing on the heart.

And so these are some of those words that you want to hear any time you hear the word I want. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. Anytime you hear the word I need ding, ding, ding. Anytime you hear the word deserve. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. Anytime I hear the word we hear the words. I’m afraid. Ding, ding, ding, ding. Because these words show that you’re at the heart. Now, husbands, listen to this. All right, You’re listening. All right, pay attention. This is what your wife wants from you. Intimacy means into me. See? Your wife desires you to know her heart. And so pay attention. To the I want the I need I desire. What I didn’t hear is all the wives saying, Amen. Do you guys say that here? See, we do that at our church. Can we say amen? Right. But this is some of the things that your wives desire. So look at those things. Listen to those things. Pay attention to those things. The I want the I need the I feel. And so you want to ask some of those questions, husbands to your wives or other people helping other people or ask yourself these questions, Why did I do the things that I do Well, What is it that I was longing for? What did I really want? Or what is it that I was afraid of? See, we there are two major motivations that we have of why we do the things that we do.

One is love. Love for ourselves. Love for others. Love for God. The other is fear. Fear of others. Afraid for ourselves or there’s being the fear of of the Lord. And as I mentioned the other day, is if fear is your motivation, at the very least, you need to heed the advice of Obi-Wan Kenobi. That fear leads to the dark side. Oh. All right. But why do we do the things we do? Love, fear. Love for self. Or being afraid. We want to protect ourselves. Why is it that you responded that way? Looking back, I know that you said this, but what was going on inside your heart? What was going on inside your mind? There’s the councillor’s favorite question. How do you feel about that? Proverbs 25 says this The purposes of a man’s heart or a person’s heart are deep waters. But one who has insight draws them out. One who has insight draws them out. Reveal the heart. What’s going on inside your heart? What’s going on inside their heart? Listen to their heart’s desires and motives. Reflect back to them what you hear and the desires to be. And I stole this one from Dr. Phil. He’s not a Christian counselor and biblical counselor, I should say. But how’s it working for you? There is that question. Is this working well for you? Do you want to change? Thinking about our own lives in those own areas that we want to withdraw ourselves.

That we feel guilt, that we feel shame. Do you want to change? How badly do you want to change? What I’ve noticed is many people that I’ve spoken to want to change but often don’t want it bad enough. Enough to go do a little bit of skirmishes. Okay, let me try this. Let me try this. But not truly repented that I’m willing to go all out war. I was speaking to a client and he had since he was a a child, probably about 8 or 9 years old. And he had started looking at pornography. And in this that he’s probably about 35 years old, somewhere in that ballpark. And throughout all of those years, he had been been viewing and. Throughout that time, he had pretty much hardened his heart and thinking, well, this is just a normal thing that that guys do. And. Something was stirring inside of his spirit and he knew that it was the Lord. And after probably at least 20, 25 years that he listened and finally listened to this voice from the Lord. And he was convicted. And he was repentant. And he came to me and said, Fred, I don’t want this in my life anymore. I am dishonoring my wife. I am dishonoring women. I am dishonoring and hurting lives. And I’m hurting, too. And so with in addition to his confession, then we set in motion a plan, and he brought in accountability because, again, we need each other.

And so with the accountability, with the setting, a plan in motion that for the last probably about two months now, he has been successful in in honoring the Lord with with his eyes, but specifically because he was willing to not only seek help, but willing to go all out war against this, against this sin that that he has been able to be successful. And he honors and he honors God with his heart now. And not just simply his eyes. And he honors his wife now. And so this is when we think about change and we think about the need for change we need. Other people because we cannot walk alone. So we look at wanting to. Wanting to reveal the heart, reveal what’s going on inside. And then, of course, when we talk to people or we look for ourselves, we want to appeal to the heart. We want to be able to change ourselves from the heart, rather allow the Holy Spirit to do that for us. Paul says in Philippians one eight. Therefore, although I am in Christ, I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do. Yet I appeal to you on the basis of love. And so for the remainder of the time, I want to look at just a few. A few. Here we go.

Come on. Here we go. All right. I want to look at a place where Jesus had specifically appealed to the heart. Now, you may be familiar with the story of the woman at the well. And the woman at the well was getting water at the well, which is a great place to get water in that time. And while she was getting water, Jesus came to her and said, Can you give me a drink? And she, knowing her sins, knowing her shame, knowing her past, said, Well, if you had, why do you ask this of me? And Jesus said, Well, if you knew who who I was, you would actually be asking me for a drink. And Jesus. Goes on telling her about her life and what he knows about her life. See, she had been married several times before. She was living with another man. And he knew everything that was going on. And she’s like, Well, you must be a prophet. And he went on telling her. And speaking to her, you see this woman that we can get from the the story here is this. This woman was married to a bunch of different men. So she was most likely seeking love. From a man. And went from one to another to another to another, and no man could fill her cup of love. Could love her the way that she wanted to be loved. So much so that she was even living with someone else.

And she was just on to her next man. Jesus knowing all of this. Said, But I’m the living water. You see, you keep trying to fill yourself with the love of other men and they won’t fill you. But Jesus is essentially saying, but but come to me because it’s my love that is going to fill you. It’s not going to be another man that does that. She was looking for love in all the wrong places. We could break out into song there, but we won’t. You’re welcome. But Jesus, knowing specifically what her heart longed for, See, Jesus could have simply said, Just don’t do that anymore. Why do you keep doing that? You know, after all these guys, you know, and just kind of focusing on the behavior. But he didn’t see what he did was he focused on what her heart truly wanted, truly needed, truly desired, truly longed for. And he introduced himself. And said you keep coming to this well. Tied it into her relationships with men. But I can give you what you truly need and truly long for. See, he focused on the heart. We also see in Matthew 9128 another familiar story where Jesus was. Was preaching in a house and a bunch of friends who had a who had a friend who was paralyzed. They went on top of the roof and started digging through the roof. That’s how houses were made back then. And they lowered because the crowds were so great.

They they lowered his paralytic friend down and. This was a very unusual thing. And the first thing that Jesus did after he stopped preaching. Was to tell this man. That his sins were forgiven. No, wait a minute. There. Wasn’t the reason. There was because he was paralyzed. And and they just wanted his friends just wanted him to be healed and he wanted to be healed. But the first thing that Jesus did was your sins have been forgiven. See, we don’t know what was going on inside this guy’s heart and mind. We don’t know the reason for the paralysis. We don’t know. But we do know this is that this man was feeling guilty, that this man needed something even more so than having full health and being able to walk around. This man needed forgiveness. And how many of us go around walking around life too. Just feeling guilt, feeling shame, feeling hopelessness. And all of these things are in our hearts. But Jesus himself. Comes to all comes to us in the guilt that we feel, in the shame that we feel, in the hopelessness that we feel. And he introduces himself to us. See, Jesus himself meets our greatest needs. He meets our greatest needs for forgiveness because we need it. We need to accept that forgiveness that he offers us. He meets our greatest needs in giving us a selfless love. He he. He’s a ransom from sin.

He is a rescue from sin and guilt and guilt. He is he gives us the the freedom to love others and not having to focus on trying to be loved by others because we’re loved by Christ. Genuinely, deeply. That is how we love others because we’ve received it from him. He gives us hope of eternal life. He gives us a sense of identity and worth. And so we don’t have to look elsewhere. We don’t have to look to other people to feel good about ourselves because people like us or if they reject us instead we know that we are who we are because Jesus Christ has died for us on the cross. And He don’t die for no junk. It’s great English, isn’t it? But his love is immense. His love is great. We need to know this. We need to not only know this here, but we need to know this here. You might have said this before and you might have heard this before. That I know it in my head. But but it just doesn’t get to here. And the difference between that area is, what, about 12in or so? But it’s about belief. See, we know things and we know things that the scriptures teach us, but we don’t fully believe it. And this goes on in our hearts and lives, but it also goes on the lives of others around us. We were not meant to walk alone. We need other people.

We need other people to be able to share with us, to be able to help us, to be able to lift us up. But we also need, as we are commanded in the Scripture, to love our neighbors as ourselves. See, we need to speak truth into other people’s lives as well. We need to give hope to other people’s lives as well. And how do we do that? But we do that through Jesus that He meets our greatest needs and he does that on the cross. And so as we look as we end today, a few songs that that will be closing in, that our job is to reveal the heart, reveal what’s going on inside of us, or if we’re helping someone reveal what’s going on inside of them and help reveal that is to appeal to them as well. Appeal through through the Cross of Christ. But it’s allowing the Holy Spirit to seal the heart. Only He can do that. Sometimes we try to change people, don’t we? We actually kind of like to do that. We try. But only God is in the change business. He is the one that can change our hearts. And so we pray for others. We walk beside them. We help reveal their heart, appeal to their heart, and we leave the rest into God’s hands. Amen.